How to Overcome 8 Most Common Challenges as a Freelancer

When talking of the freelancing scenario in the country, it is widely estimated that by the year 2025, the ‘freelancers’ market of India will grow to whopping $20-30 billion. Another amazing fact? Nearly 23% of these Indian freelancers have annual earnings of ₹60 lakh and lie under the age of 40.

With the rise of the entrepreneurship culture in India, freelancing is more popular than ever- it reaches expanding to Web development, web designing, internet research, data entry, accounting, graphic design and even consulting and the list goes on. But contrary to the common beliefs, freelancing business is not all about the perks. The challenges form an ample share of this work culture and we, at StartupTalky, are here to guide you on how to overcome these challenges like a pro.

Most Common Challenges Faced By a Freelancer and How to Overcome Them

Ways to Overcome Challenges as a Freelancer
Ways to Overcome Challenges as a Freelancer

Managing Time

One of the major challenges one faces as a freelancer is time management. As the line between private time and working hours gets blurred, the subject becomes quite a complicated issue. Sure, flexible working hours was one of the major reasons that made you consider freelancing. But once your work starts getting affected by that ‘flexibility’, it is not a perk anymore.

How to manage time effectively?

Plan. Constantly updating your calendar with your work assignments, keeping track of how much time you spent on each, setting per day goals and working with time reports will help you stay ahead in the game. The best part? You don’t even have to do all of that manually. Freelancing tools like Freedom, Tomato Timer, RescueTime and Freework enable you to do just that with a click of a button.

Finding Work

If you have already had your first brush with freelancing, you know what a major challenge can this be. As more and more freelancers join the workforce, the competition gets only tougher each day. Nobody wants to end up with months of non-employment and rejections.

How to find more work projects as a freelancer?

There are a large number of online platforms out there that enable service providers and recruiters to come together and benefit from each other. Content mart, Truelancer, Freelancer, Upwork and Fiverr are some of such popular services, catering to this purpose. Active networking helps too. By connecting with more people, you increase your probability of finding work. Besides, consider building your brand and keep an attractive portfolio.

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Not Getting Paid for Work

Being a freelancer also means not getting paid sometimes and this practice happens to be notoriously common in the freelancing community. As you gain experience you eventually learn to protect yourself from non-paying clients. But in the interim, you might even find yourself running after your client to pay you for what you deserve.

How to overcome Notorious Clients?

Insist your employer on making a contract before you offer your confirmation and start working on the project. Or better yet, make the process easier for your client and make one yourself, and get your client’s approval. There are several tools like Bonsai, Termsfeed and Freelancy that help you with the legal issues and generate a contract on your own. In the absence of any job securities, contracts protect your interests as a freelancer.

Working Alone

Working Alone
Working Alone

Surprised!? It might have been one of the major reasons why you had quit your job. Turns out it doesn't hurt to have a team, behind your back, who support you when an assignment is becoming too hard and keep updating you with their feedbacks as you progress. Unless your profits are great, you can’t even hire an assistant and once you accept an assignment, there is no backing out. You are all alone in this.

How not to be lonely as a freelancer?

Find a freelancer community where you can interact and learn from the experiences of many more of your kind. Platforms like these not only help you to build networks but also help you find a support system, wherein you can share your doubts and discuss your problems openly. Taking regular breaks from work and turning to your friends and family for some ‘out’ time helps too.

Creative Block

One of the major challenges you face as a freelancer is getting stuck in a creative block. This not only hampers your learning but also make things monotonous, and well, not so great.

How to overcome Creative Block?

Keep updating your style sense with new trends. Try looking for inspiration in new places and give your old style a break. You can even start with some intense brainstorming sessions instead of directly coming to work. The bottom line is, don’t hesitate to explore new genres and styles, even if they lie out of your comfort zone.

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Completing Works Before Deadlines

This is also a part of time management. Becoming a freelancer might be easy, getting work also might be easy. But you have to learn the art to set deadlines. Many time it will happen that the client will ask to complete a task immediately or they may give you work to complete within a short period. This is a common challenge that many freelancers face.

How to complete projects on time?

Don't hurry. Don't take any decision quickly and also on your assumption. Take time to plan the work deadline. If any client wants any service in urgency then try to communicate with them. Tell them why you need that specific time to complete the work. Also, make them understand that the quality of the work will suffer if you do it in urgency.

Procrastination or De-motivation

You can't be self-motivated every time and this is a common problem in every profession whether you are doing a job or working as a freelancer. Even sometimes you may feel unwell and postpone your work. Taking a break is not a problem but if you want to become a successful freelancer then you have to work hard without any break.

How to overcome De-motivation?

Plan every day and don't try to accomplish long term goals. Divide your goals in short-term or you can also make daily goals. This will help a lot. If you feel demotivated anytime you can check old emails especially the good feedbacks which you have received from your clients. You can also reward yourself for every goal you achieve.

No Consistent Work

Freelancers face this problem so often. Sometimes you will get a load of work but the next month there is a little work or even no job. In India, the competition among the freelancers also too high. But to survive in this race you have to find away.

How to overcome Non Consistency?

Don't depend on the clients you are working for. Also if you are getting work from online marketplace then research about other platforms too. Create your profile in all the legit freelance websites. There are many websites available like Fiverr, People Per Hour etc. where you can upload your gig. This will help you to make money consistently. Because there is a little possibility that you will get the same amount of work every month. So, if you can do something different in your gig that will make you stand out of the competition.

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Challenges are everywhere no matter what career field you choose but this is the right time when you should start freelancing and build your own business. We are living in a digital era where we have all the resources and opportunities we need to grow and improve ourselves. There are also many freelancing communities out there from where you can get all the supports you need to grow your freelancing business. As when you work with a team you can overcome challenges easily and can bring your freelancing career to the next level.

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About Niku Mandal

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